Andy Struthers Rallying

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Andy Struthers Rallying

Rally is a form of motorsport that takes place on public or private roads with modified production or specially built road-legal cars. It is distinguished by running not on a circuit, but instead in a point-to-point format in which participants and their co-drivers drive between set control points (special stages), leaving at regular intervals from one start point.

There are two main forms: stage rallies and road rallies. These may vary from asphalt mountain passes to rough forest tracks, from ice and snow to desert sand, each chosen to provide an enjoyable challenge for the crew and a test of the car’s performance and reliability. Rallies may be won by pure speed within the stages or alternatively by looking after your tyres and car to ensure your car finishes the rally.

“Andy Struther’s rally team” is an amateur team and is essentially made up from friends, family and rally enthusiast’s who all give up their own time to be part of the whole team. Their responsibility are wide ranging from the initial building of car, mechanical upgrades, maintenance and repairing of car in between events to being part of the rally weekend. During the rally’s they ensure car gets through Scrutineering, full servicing pre-rally and during the event and part of mechanics forming a “chase car” duties which provides roadside emergency repairs in between stages out with the large service compounds. Other members deal with accommodation, rally entries, competition regulations etc while most of the wives or girlfriends march into the woods to add support to team.

The car – Citroen C2 VTS.

Due to the restrictions for modifying the car within the Ecosse Challenge Championship the car is based on the standard road model. 1600cc 16v motor standard gear stick and all the safety requirements set out by MSA from roll cages, seats,  fire extinguisher’s to personal equipment. The car was built by Barrie Lochhead who started his rally mechanic career with Colin McRae building his first cars for him.  He then spent 18 years travelling the world with the Mitsibushi World Rally Team and now the team are really lucky to have him looking after the car pre-events and during them.

Andy Struthers – the driver.

Although Andy assists in the car preparation, repairs, testing between events his main requirement is the actual driving on the event. Forrest rallying needs a lot of new driving skills that are developed over years to include control sliding, gravel breaking, double clutch, handbrake turns, heel-and-toe, hill jumps, left foot breaking etc. The whole team are there to ensure all Andy needs to concentrate on is the driving element.

Andy is from Libberton (near Biggar) and has been rallying for over 7 years.

He is an award winning Junior driver who is getting lots of press coverage and has lots of potential. He has recently built his own brand new Citroen C2 and will be competing in Class 3 throughout the SRC Championship and National Ecosse Challenger competitions for the 2018 season. Andy has an impressed list of Awards for only being 19 so I am excited to being part of this young mans step to the top!

  • J1000 Pearsons Cup, 2014
  • 2nd Overall J1000 championship, 2014
  • C2 Rally First 1st place
  • C2 First teenager
  • C2 First Junior
  • C2 Second overall
  • SRC Class 1 winner 2 years in a row
  • SRC winner of the ARRCraib Douglas Wood Memorial Trophy
  • SRC 2017 Junior runner up

Ali Mcilroy – co-driver (navigator)

The role of co-driver is to cover all other aspects of the rally for the team apart from the actual driving itself.

Pre-event Ali co-ordinates the whole team to ensure every member knows the timing, requirements, locations of all the parts they need to do both pre-event and during the event itself. Pre-event covers all the specific rally details and times that need to be followed or could lead to exclusions. He must also prepare the pace notes which are the in stage notes stating corner tightness, lengths, gradients, hazards, jumps etc – ie to provide a 3D image of the road stage. He also provides mechanics / service crews with fuel calculations, maps and route timings to ensure team have all information to hand. Must be on hand with all the paperwork for the car and team.

During the event the co-driver is in charge of all timings from the first time control until the last one making sure car is arrives exactly to its required timings to each control throughout the whole day. Between stages Ali must navigate the car vis maps from end of one stage to the start of the next – sometimes over 30 miles through country and town roads. On the actual stage the co-driver must deliver the pace notes in front of the actual corners / hazard’s etc while hurtling along at high speeds. He must also time each stage to make sure times given to them are accurate. Essentially he binds the team together to ensure the driver just needs to think about driving and nothing else!

Jedburgh’s Ali McIlroy never thought about competing in the sport until three weeks before the 2014 Jim Clark rally his cousin talked him into sitting next to him as a co-driver. His cousin promised he would pick things up quickly but Ali didn’t realise how far into the deep end he’d been thrown! Quick learning curve but Ali coped well and finished well.  This helped him win the BECC best newcomer award for that season!

He was offered a seat for the 2015 SRC & Ecosse Challenge in a 205 next to Steven Bellshaw and they were  winning the Championship with 3 stages remaining in the last event when engine issue’s curtailed their joy.

When Ali joined Andy in 2015 the team have been competing in the Citreon C2 VTS.

Ali is the Design Manager for J S Crawford Contracts (Borders) Ltd and has been a keen sportsman in rugby, cricket, golf, running… name it he will give it a shot.

SRC championship and Ecosse Challenger Championship covers the whole of Scotland over 7 events throughout the year as per following link

Date Event Location
10th Feb 2018 Snowman Rally (Gravel) Inverness, Highlands
10th Mar 2018 Border Counties Rally (Gravel) Jedburgh, Scottish Borders
21st Apr 2018 Speyside Stages (Gravel) Elgin, Moray
19th May 2018 RSAC Scottish Rally (Gravel) Dumfries, Dumfries & Galloway
23rd Jun 2018 Argyll Rally Dunoon, Argyll & Bute
11th Aug 2018 Grampian Forest Rally (Gravel) Crathes, Banchory, Aberdeenshire
8th Sep 2018 Galloway Hills Rally (Gravel) Castle Douglas, Dumfries & Galloway

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